Maharashtra strongman Vilasrao passes away

Last Updated: Tue, Aug 14, 2012 17:56 hrs

Chennai/New Delhi/Mumbai, Aug 14 (IBNS): Union Minister of Science and Technology, and Earth Sciences and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Tuesday died of multiple organ failure in a Chennai hospital. He was 67.

The popular Congress leader was suffering from a serious liver ailment and failure of multiple organs and the end came at 1-40 pm on Tuesday.

The Congress leader was flown to Chennai by a special flight from Mumbai and was admitted in Global Health City hospital on August 6 after his health conditions deteriorated. He was to undergo a liver transplant in the hospital with delay in finding a donor his condition had deteriorated further.

Deshmukh was admitted in Mumbai´s Breach Candy Hospital a week ago but was later shifted to the Chennai hospital.

According to the hospital doctor, their attempted to gather liver from a brain dead donor failed on Monday night after the man passed away before the operation from cardiac failure.

Chairman of Chennai´s Global Hospitals Dr K Ravindranath said Deshmukh had some chances of survival if there was a donor at the right time.

Deshmukh had earlier shown signs of improvement and was taken on and off the ventilator before he was prepared for the transplant.

Deshmukh is survived by his wife Vaishali and three sons, including his more famous Bollywood actor son Riteish Deshmukh. His other two sons are Amit Deshmukh, an MLA from Latur city, and Dheeraj.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shide announced the death of the former Maharashtra Chief Minister in the Lok Sabha.

"I have to inform with great grief that my colleague Vilasrao Deshmukh has passed away," Shinde said almost breaking down.

Both the Rasjya Sabha and the Lok Sabha were adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to Deshmukh.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced the death of Deshmukh in the Rajya Sabha.

"Vilasrao Deshmukh is no more," Bansal said in the Rajya Sabha.

"He has just passed away," he said.

Both Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day as a mark of respect to the departed leader.

Deshmukh was born on May 26, 1945 at Babhalgaon village in Latur district of Maharashtra.

He was a Member of Parliament (MP) in Rajya Shabha. He had previously held the posts of Minister of Rural Development and Minister of Panchayati Raj, Government of India and Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Government of India.

Vilasrao Deshmukh was two-time Chief Minister of Maharashtra, from 1999 to 2003 and from 2004 to 2008.

The departed leader will be cremated at his Babhalgaon village of Maharashtra on Wednesday, reports said.

The funeral procession will start at around 3 pm and his last rites will be performed at 4 pm.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has condoled the passing away of Deshmukh.

In his message, Singh said: "Mr Deshmukh was a trusted colleague and an able administrator who worked at Panchayat, State and Central levels with admirable dedication."

Politicians across the partylines mourned Deshmukh´s death on Tuesday.

Union Minister of Commerce, Industry & Textiles, Anand Sharma has expressed deep sorrow on the passing away of Deshmukh.

In a statement, Sharma said: "His contribution will be remembered not only in the State of Maharashtra where he was the Chief Minister, but will be mourned by the entire nation."

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad, expressed deep sorrow on the passing away of Deshmukh.

In a message Azad said: "In his death, we lost a highly motivated human being who was always willing to help others in their need. It will be difficult to fill the void left by him."

The Union Minister of Power, Veerappa Moily condoled the sudden passing away of Deshmukh and said "his passing away is a great loss to the country."

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan mourned Deshmukh´s death and said: "We lost a national leader."

"He brought perspective from the lowest level of governance. He led Maharashtra state for many years with great distinction," he said.

Chavan said: "We were looking forward to his leadership in the national level but unfortunately he suffered from ailment and fought courageously, but he died."

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said: "Sad to know about the demise of Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh. May his soul rest in peace. My condolences to his family."

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan said Deshmukh´s death was ´shocking´.

BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said: " Vilasrao was a good friend of mine. He was a very nice person. He had worked for Maharashtra. His contributions cannot be fulfilled."

Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel said: "We are deeply shocked by the news of his death.A great loss for the country and certainly a very, very big loss for the state of Maharashtra."

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said: "This is a very sad news. He was never involved in personal enmity in case of politics. This is a huge loss to Indian politics and not only to the party. His void can never be filled."

JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said: "I pray to god that his family gets the strength to face the loss."

Bollywood actor turned politician Jaya Bachchan said: "I have known Vilasrao and his family for a very long time. They are warm, hospitable people. I was not prepared for something like this. It is untimely demise of a big leader."

"His son (Riteish) is so well loved by all, very well mannered and respectful. My heart really goes out to him and more than anybody else, his young wife," she said.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President N. Srinivasan mourned Deshmukh´s death.

Deshmukh was a cricket administrator too.

Srinivasan said: "Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh was an excellent administrator. He was very fond of cricket, and a regular at cricket matches played in Mumbai. He was part of the Mumbai Cricket Association for several years, and was elected President of the Mumbai Cricket Association last year."

"He was Chairman of the BCCI's Media Committee since last September. This is a big loss for the Board. I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace," he said.

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